Southwest bid more than $100 million for 6 of ATA’s 14 disputed gates at Midway, roughly 10-15% more than AirTran’s bid for a similar set of assets (Southwest, unlike AirTran, is not bidding on ATA’s gates at LaGuardia or Reagan National). AirTran is not happy, as you might imagine, claiming that Southwest would control 25 of the 43 gates at Midway, effectively shutting out other carriers. Other carriers meaning, of course, AirTran. In an interesting twist, as part of their proposal, Southwest has agreed to a codeshare with ATA, the first time Southwest has agreed to a domestic codeshare (they used to codeshare with, of all airlines, Icelandair in Baltimore).
On a side note, America West said that they were no longer interested in ATA’s assets. Good move–America West has already had to shut down its Columbus hub this year; it didn’t need to spend all of its efforts building another midwestern hub.